This guide has been produced by parents from Parent Carer Forums across the Eastern Region of England.

The guide is written for parent carers of children or young people with SEND who have a mental health condition, but it is specifically written for parent carers of those who also have a learning disability, autism or both.

The information aims to prevent inappropriate admissions which occur because of a lack of understanding of the importance of having local services to meet the needs of the children and young people in local areas, whilst acknowledging that there will always be cases where admission to a mental health inpatient facility is the optimal course of treatment for a mental health need.

The guide sets out background information on what is happening in the NHS at the moment, the NHS Long-Term Plan and what this might mean for your family and, more importantly, the services available within Essex to support your child or young person today.